In 2005, I embarked on a journey that changed my life forever. While I'd done an awful lot of living before that, it was that year that most dramatically altered the course my life would take. During the spring semester of 2005, I began my teaching career (sort of), met my future husband, and suffered some crushing personal tragedies. Throughout all of the ups and downs, however, was one constant: the Bu Bees.
Say it out loud. Yes, we're mature.
In Bamberg, I had the fortuitous experience of living with an amazing group of women on a street called Buchenstrasse ("Beech Street" in English). It took us approximately 5 seconds to name our apartment, which was just about as long as it took us to forge lifelong friendships.
Fast forward four years. Since our magical fairy tale of an experience in Germany, we've managed to stay connected, despite the ever-increasing distance between all of us. We've attended each others' weddings, bridal showers, and bachelorette parties; drank beer out of a truck and played kickball at Winkstock; sampled all of the finest sausage Hermann, Missouri has to offer; and made a committment to reunite on a regular basis. This year's destination of choice was Denver, Colorado.
I turned the DD Bu Bee Reunion (just think about it) into a mega Midwest trip, stopping in Nebraska to hang out with relatives before spending some time in Kansas City. From KC, I hitched a ride with one of the Bu Bees and drove that excruciating stretch of road known as I-70. It's amazing how much quicker the trip goes when your U-Haul doesn't get a flat tire 2/3 of the way across Kansas... We actually made pretty good time, but did have to make the choice to drive past the 8000-pound prairie dog.
Once in Denver, we immediately began our favorite Bu pasttimes: watching video footage and pictures from Bamberg, playing the "Hey, remember that one time in Germany..." game, and filling out our quote board. The quote board is now technically a notebook that travels to all of our officially-sanctioned Bu events, but originated as several sheets of construction paper taped to the wall of our German apartment. It was quite the conversation starter, and more than one of our friends had a tendency to rush over to the board upon arrival to our place, desperately hoping he had made the list. (Ir)regardless(ly), we always keep our ears perked for those innocent utterings which always manage to sound inappropriate.
In addition to all of 'remember-whens,' we did also enjoy Colorado's capital. One of the reasons the reunion was dubbed "DD" (for Dirrrrty Denver) was that we were set to experience the 'quick and dirty' version of our location. Our hostess for the weekend lives fairly close to downtown and was able to show us around downtown, including the 16th Street Mall. We sampled the meatless entrees at a couple of delicious vegetarian restaurants and did a little shopping.
The weather cooperated with us the Saturday of our three-day weekend so that we could go hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park. The scenery was beautiful and it was great breathe in that fresh mountain air...except for the fact that the trail we'd chosen also served as a horse trail. Whether you adore, abhor, or are ambivalent to alliteration, hopefully you can appreciate the title we gave to our afternoon: "Hiking with hummus on horsecrap hill."
All too quickly the weekend was over. But before we left, we already began planning for our Five-Year Bu Reunion next summer.